Lake Ritzensee is a great bathing lake, in an beautiful setting in Saalfelden, about an hour's bus ride from the centre of town.
Lake Ritzensee is a relatively small lake and is just 4m deep. The beaches are sandy and there's also a large sunbathing lawn, beautiful old trees for shade, a playground, a kid’s pool with slide and a nude bathing area.
There are lots of easy walks around the lake, as well as mountain biking trails, and Lake Ritzensee is surrounded by sweeping mountain landscape. The pretty town is also just a stone’s throw from the water, so be sure to bring your camera.
Pop down the road to the neighbouring town of Hinterglemm to visit the weekly street market, which runs from 7pm. This market is also a festival so you can shop for bargains in a party atmosphere. Keep an eye on what’s happening each week, just in case times and days change.
Saalbach has a limited number of shops but, if you're looking for casual clothes or a new piece of activewear, there are a few sports shops to browse.
Saalbach is a pedestrianised town, and going for an evening wander is a great way to soak up the feel of the valley. You might be lucky and stumble on traditional folklore events, concerts and weekly festivals that are held throughout the high summer season.
Saalbach has a relaxed but fun evening atmosphere, perfect if you want a few drinks. However, not all bars are open during the summer months so it's worth checking before you go somewhere. Mango’s Cantina is open during the summer and serves a decent collection of cocktails.
Saalbach, similar to other Austrian resorts, has a wealth of alms (or huts) on the mountains. During the summer, these offer a fantastic range of authentic Austrian dishes for you to feast on. If that doesn’t take your fancy, back down in resort you’ll also find lots of hotel and à la carte restaurants dotted around town, which serve up a variety of Austrian and international cuisines from Italian to American to Mexican.
A 30-minute walk from the Reiterkogel mid-station is Sonnalm, a mountain hut famous for their unique bread-baking process.
A gentle walk down from the Kohlmaisbahn top station is the Panorama Alm. It has a large sun terrace that looks over the whole valley, a bio-bathing pool and a children’s play area, on top of delicious Austrian dishes like spare ribs.
On the Schulstrasse is the homely Schattbergstube, where you’re served generous portions of everything from steak and ribs to pizza on wooden boards. The beers and prices are good too.
Originally a small farming village, Saalbach has retained many of its traditional features and charm – and the best way to see this is on foot. Stroll around town, breathing in the fresh mountain air, before venturing out to explore the surrounding pastures and mountains.
There’s a tourist train, the Talschlusszug, which runs to Hinterglemm and is free with a Joker Card. The closest proper train station is in Zell am See (30 minutes by bus), from which you can catch a train to Salzburg (1 hour 30 minutes), Innsbruck (2 hours 15 minutes) and Krimml (1 hour 20 minutes).
Use of the local walkers’ buses is free with a Joker Card so you can easily get to Hinterglemm and Lengau. There’s also a normal bus to Zell am See.
Unlimited use of the summer lifts in the area is free with a Joker Card. Saalbach has the Schattberg X-Press and Kohlmais cable cars, and Hinterglemm has the Reiterkogel and Zwolferkogel cable cars. The Reiterkogel is the only lift open from the end of May, with the second lift opening at the beginning of June, and the remaining two at the end of June, until the end of September or October.
The Glemm Valley is perfect for walkers, with over 400km of marked trails to suit every ability level. The Joker Card, free from many hotels, gives you unlimited access to the summer lifts and up to seven guided walks per week – perfect for making sure you get the most out of your stay. If you fancy striking out on your own, the tourist office can give you details of over 30 different routes. Either way, with over 40 mountain huts open, you’ll have plenty of places to grab a drink and a bite to eat while enjoying the stunning scenery.
Nature enthusiasts will love this gentle walk, which gives you the chance to learn more about the 200 different types of herb and Alpine flower in this stunning region. Hop on the Reiterkogel lift and take it up to the top station. Find walking path no. 5 and follow it for about 20 minutes. There are tours every Wednesday, with guides who will explain more about the medicinal and homeopathic uses of the various plants.
A longer walk for those with a bit more energy, this one takes around 4 and a half hours. Catch the Schattberg X-Press gondola to the top and the follow signposts to the Saalbachkogel. If you’re up for it, you can ascend to the peak to see stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Follow the same trail back to the lift and ride it down to the valley.
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